While their coach paces the sidelines with a splinted and fractured finger, No. 2 Indiana's women's basketball team will continue to write its story Friday against Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at Target Center.
Coach Teri Moren's Hoosiers are 26-2 overall, the tournament's top seed and the conference's regular-season winners. They're also ranked second in the nation behind only South Carolina, the defending NCAA champions.
The Hoosiers are fresh off what Moren calls Sunday's "stinger" of an 86-85 loss to sixth-ranked Iowa and star Caitlin Clark's viral buzzer-beating, three-point shot.
It also ended a 14-game winning streak one shy of a school record.
"This is a group of fighters and competitors and we talked all along, especially in the Big Ten, how we want to write the story and be the only ones to hold the pen," Moren said after Sunday's game.
The irony is Moren's right hand now is bandaged and splinted after following an unfortunate scorer's table incident at home against rival Purdue two weeks ago. She "got a little passionate on Senior Night" and whacked her hand "perfectly" on the scorer's table.
"You'd think as I get older, I'd get smarter," she told Big Ten Network. "But in that moment, I was going in a different direction."
Now Moren and her players will all write on, telling their story after they received two byes into the tournament's quarterfinals.
Named this season's Big Ten Coach of the Year, Moren is in her ninth season at Indiana, with this team recruited from Maine to Minnesota.
Maine's Mackenzie Holmes was named the Big Ten defensive player of the year and five others — including senior guard Sara Scalia from Stillwater — received conference honors on a team their coach calls resilient, steady and tough. Another Minnesota native, Rochester John Marshall's Lilly Meister, is a freshman forward at Indiana.
"We've been trying to earn some respect nationally," Moren told reporters after Sunday's game.
The Hoosiers trailed Iowa by double digits, but took a two-point lead on a pair of free throws made in Sunday's final ticking seconds. Ultimately, they were beaten by Clark's 34 points and theatrics that got her a guest spot on Dan Patrick's radio show.
"We love the game, our whole team is super, super competitive," Indiana guard Sydney Parrish said after Sunday's game. "So it's not like this (loss) doesn't mean a lot to us. We're really competitive and we wanted that game. It's not like we're going to throw it out the window like it didn't happen. Possibly we'll get a chance to play them again. It'd be a great matchup, flipping the page and going into the tournaments. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Moren gave her players Monday off, then went back to work in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Moren said she and her players know they can play much better than Sunday's game.
"We know we let one slip away," she said in a video conference call with reporters Thursday morning. "There's a little bit of frustration and bitterness with that, which isn't a bad thing. They've already flushed it and are ready to move on. We've learned lessons and gotten on. I know they're going to show up."
They've moved on after figuring out on which play Moren broke her finger two weeks ago. Moren deemed guard Grace Berger's turnover was "responsible" and Berger confessed.
"It's good now," Moren said Thursday. "I'm ready to roll, ready to go. Not a game-time decision. I'll be available if they need me."